This whole clicker thing and constant treats boggles my mind. wouldn't you want your horse to work for you and not food? Horses are simple minded. The key to making them do what you want is trust, keep their feet moving, and pressure. when they stop moving is when they think of all the bad things. For instance, with this horse, I would move her foward then release pressure by moving her back. repeat until she goes where you want, then keep doing it for longer periods of time. What I do is when they have given me a good session of time then reward with a few treats as they stand quiet. The thing is with clickers and treats they are not always around, therefore I would want my horse to work for me. Just a thought.
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I realize that there was a lot of detailed posts on the original page, but they explain a lot of these common concerns people have with clicker training. Since it would get repetitive to try and explain it all again, I will keep this short, simple and sweet.
The thing with hoof picks and halters is that they seem to disappear all the time. Does that stop me from using them? No. The clicker and my treat bag are just tack that I use daily. And, since I've been so successful with my horse and have been able to use minimal pressure with huge results, CT has actually cut down
on all the tack I have to lug around because I don't even bother with a bridle, saddle, or pad and just go bareback and in a halter. I simply don't need anything else at this point.
As for making your horse work for you - ours do. The click and treat is mainly used when teaching new behaviors. It's to give an affirmative and clear "yes" that the horse understand rather than ten "no's" that takes repetition for the horse to figure out when the release of pressure comes. Personally, I feel that both methods work best when combined with one another. I use pressure and apply the minimum amount to get my point across, then click and treat when my horse figures out what I want. Using multiple methods and clarifying when you're saying "yes" is not only motivating for the horse, but also faster. If you read my last post, my 3-year-old horse that's not even "green broke" really learned how to back in less than 5 minutes because he clearly understood what I was asking, and is now backing across the arena at moderate speed (and, I forgot to mention, his head is DOWN). Moreover, most of what I've done has been done through shaping on the ground without any pressure, so and by doing so I've effectively taught my horse to give his head without ever needing to pull on his face.
The thing is that the release of pressure just simply isn't as rewarding for a horse nor does it expand the possibilities as much as CT. They're working for you to let them be comfortable and leave them alone. It would be like me poking you in the ribs until you turned the right direction, and it would take quite a few trials of you swatting at my finger, asking me to stop, etc. before you figured out all you have to do is turn. Wouldn't it be much more pleasant if I just applied light pressure, and you knew that you were supposed to figure out something to do in response, and when you turn around I told you "yes!"?
Oh and, once they understand what the new cue and behavior is, the click and treat is phased out. My horse works for me because he knows that's what I expect and, when we're not training, I don't bother too much about the clicker nor treats because I expect him to listen and behave appropriately without it.